Lakshya, Akarshi to lead India at Junior Asia badminton meet

New Delhi, July 10 : Junior world No.9 Lakshya Sen and No.11 Akarshi Kashyap will lead the Indian campaign at the upcoming edition of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships to be played from July 14-22, in Jakarta.

The tournament which is in its 21st year of existence will see the former junior world no.1 Sen share responsibilities with young Priyanshu Rajawat who caught the eyes of the selectors during the pre-selection trial tournament held in Tirupur early last month.

The tournament will be played in mixed team format and individual championship. The mixed team event will be played from July 14-17, while the individual competition starts on July 18.

India No.1 Amar Farogh and No.3 Kiran George in the boys’ singles category and Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy pulled out from the tournament; India No.1 Akarshi Kashyap will be complemented by S. Kavipriya in the girls’ single competition.

The young and talented doubles shuttlers including Manjit Singh Khwairakpam, Dingku Singh, Vishnuvardhan Goud and Sri Krishna Sai Kumar Podile will drive Indian charge in the men’s doubles category while Simran Singhi, Ritika Thaker, K. Preethi and Shristhi Juppudi will lead the challenge in the girls’ doubles event.

All the shuttlers featured in the top four of the pre-selection tournament held before the team was picked for Indonesia.

The squad underwent a rigorous 15-day training in Bengaluru under the watchful eyes of the coaches headed by Chief Junior National Coach Sanjay Mishra.

The squad will also feature players like Edwin Joy, India No 2, Orijit Chaliha, B Sai Rohit and Akash Chandran in the boys and Nafeesah Sara Siraj, Medha Shashidharan and Dipti Kuity in the girls’ team.

BAI has already picked a comparatively large squad with an intent to increase the bench strength and give exposure to more players.

India’s best results so far at the Junior continental championships have been in 2011 when India won a team bronze medal.

PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma, both have won individual silver medal in 2012 and 2011 respectively and in 2009, Pranav Jerry Chopra and Prajakta Sawant teamed up to win a Bronze medal in the mixed doubles category.

The squad will leave for Jakarta late on July 11.

/IANS

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